THE BOSTON STRANGLER
1968, 20th Century Fox, 120 min, USA, Dir: Richard Fleischer

One of Richard Fleischer’s most uncompromising and startling films: Tony Curtis delivers an amazing performance (arguably his best) as Albert DeSalvo, the unstable blue-collar worker who terrorized Boston in the early 1960s. Henry Fonda is the head of detectives who doggedly tracks him down. The increasingly elliptical, stream-of-consciousness narrative, especially after the captured Curtis’ mental disintegration accelerates, was extremely daring for a major Hollywood studio film.


THE PRIME OF MISS JEAN BRODIE
1969, 20th Century Fox, 116 min, UK, Dir: Ronald Neame

Miss Jean Brodie is a teacher at a Scottish girls’ school in the 1930s who rankles fellow faculty members with her free-thinking lessons and inordinate sway over her young charges. One of those is prize pupil Sandy (an exceptional Pamela Franklin), who comes to learn that her teacher has a manipulative side. Directed by Ronald Neame and adapted by Jay Presson Allen from her play, the film is a tour de force for Maggie Smith, who earned a Best Actress Oscar in the title role. (Rod McKuen’s bittersweet “Jean” also earned Academy recognition, garnering a Best Song nomination).


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